When the Shadows of Old Idols fade
When somebody turns herself inside out it’s quite disturbing for a lot of conformists. Unfortunately this has led to a not inconsiderable process of conforming on the music scene today. Committed to ones own seriousness, it’s possible to resist this process only with some difficulty.
The expression in Nomakosazana’s voice comes from deep in her soul. Concealing many facets of popular singing, it still has the emotional power of all the waters that have flown under the bridge, which is to be expected from the life history of a person whose skin is both ‘black’ and ‘white’. Anger, aggression and protest come naturally to her, but so also do tenderness, love, vulnerability and despair.her voice is palpable, a tangible presence right through all fourteen songs. Always committed to authenticity, this is about Nomakosazana’s very personal, many facetted brand of Blues.
She resists the temptations of populism and leaves no room for profane clichés. One feels almost overwhelmed by this concentrated force and comprehensiveness; especially in a musical world which prefers to rely upon digital fiddling and flourishes in the background, artificially portentous, rather than on the vitality and the dynamism of expressive power.
Is ‘Tenderness’ for instance a Blues piece, or Jazz or World Music? The question of style recedes into the background, it’s only important to critics intent on analysis, armed with a scalpel.
Nomakosazana’s authenticity infects, carries away with it – and a duo set up is the ideal prerequisite for this exchange. – the man on the black-and-white keys…He moves out of the shadows of his great musician idols and simply plays like himself: Uli Lenz follows the contours of each song with singlemindedness, unveiling its rhythmic and melodic structure with a very personal dynamism rarely heard in his other work. In this context, Uli Lenz rises above himself to become a kind of Grand Master of Ceremonies.